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Configuring and Indexing an Active Directory Source

A source defines a set of connector parameters specifying where and how to crawl Active Directory in a given domain. The Coveo connector for Microsoft Active Directory uses the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) to read Active Directory content. The connector performs an LDAP search to find all the items to index.

To configure and index an Active Directory source

  1. On the Coveo server, access the Administration Tool (see Opening the Administration Tool).

  2. Select Index > Sources and Collections.

  3. In the Collections section:

    1. Select an existing collection in which you want to add the new source.


    2. Click Add to create a new collection (see Adding a Collection).

  4. In the Sources section, click Add.

  5. In the General Settings section of the Add Source page:

    1. Enter the appropriate value for the following required parameters:


      Enter a descriptive name of your choice for the connector source.

      Example: Active Directory Domain A

      Source Type

      Select the connector used by this source. In this case, select Active Directory.


      The list of LDAP URIs indicating the starting locations to index, one entry per line.

      Example: With the domain, acceptable values can be:
      • LDAP://MyOrganization

      • LDAP://

      • LDAP://DC=domainA,DC=MyOrganization,DC=com

      If you want to select only users from a particular organization unit (OU), enter the address in the form: LDAP://OU=ouName,DC=domainA,DC=MyOrganization,DC=com

      Important: In the LDAP URLs, you must enter the keywords (LDAP, OU, DC...) in uppercase.

    2. Review the value for the following parameters that often do not need to be modified:


      Change this value only when you want to globally change the rating associated with all items in this source relative to the rating of elements in other sources (see Understanding Search Results Ranking).

      Document Types

      If you created a custom document type set for this source, select it (see Creating a Document Type Set).

      Active Languages

      If you defined custom active language sets, ensure to select the most appropriate for this source (see Adding and Configuring a Language Set).


      If you defined custom field sets, ensure to select the most appropriate for this source (see What Are Field Sets?).

      Refresh Schedule

      Time interval at which the index is automatically refreshed to keep the index content up-to-date. By default, the recommended Every day option instructs CES to refresh the source everyday at 12 AM.

      Note: You can create new or modify existing source refresh schedules (see Creating or Modifying a Source Schedule).

  6. In the Specific Connector Parameters & Options section of the Add Source page:

    1. Enter the appropriate value for the following parameters:

      Incremental Refresh Delay

      Determines the time interval in seconds between incremental refresh updates (see About Incremental Refresh and Live Monitoring). The default and recommended value is 3600 seconds (1 hour).

      LDAP Filters

      The filters used to refine the LDAP query to Active Directory. You typically want to crawl all the users in Active Directory. Depending on the configuration of Active Directory, you may find that unwanted users are crawled. The default value is mail=*. It allows to get all users that also have an Exchange Mailbox.

      Note: The connector includes a built-in hidden filter: (&(objectclass=user)(objectclass=person)). This is a logical AND operation that finds users that are real persons, eliminating other mailboxes. The filter you enter in LDAP Filters is added to the AND operation of the built-in hidden filter (ex.: (&(objectclass=user)(objectclass=person)(mail=*)).


      Click Add Parameter when you want to show advanced hidden source parameters.

    2. In the Option section, review the value for the following parameters that often do not need to be modified:

      Index Subfolders

      Check to index all subfolders below the specified starting addresses. Selected by default.

      Index the document's metadata

      When selected, CES indexes all the document metadata, even metadata that are not associated with a field. The orphan metadata are added to the body of the document so that they can be searched using free text queries.

      When cleared (default), only the values of system and custom fields that have the Free Text Queries attribute selected will be searchable without using a field query (see Adding a Field to Search On and What Are Field Queries and Free Text Queries?).

      Example: A document has two metadata:

      • LastEditedBy containing the value Hector Smith

      • Department containing the value RH

      In CES, the custom field CorpDepartment is bound to the metadata Department and its Free Text Queries attribute is selected.

      When the Index the document's metadata option is cleared, searching for RH returns the document because a field is indexing this value. Searching for hector does not return the document because no field is indexing this value.

      When the Index the document's metadata option is selected, searching for hector also returns the document because CES indexed orphan metadata.

      Document's addresses are case-sensitive

      Leave the check box cleared. This parameter needs to be checked only in rare cases for case sensitive systems in which distinct documents may have the same file name but with different casing.

      Generate a cached HTML version of indexed documents

      When you select this check box (recommended), at indexing time CES creates HTML versions of indexed documents and saves them in the unified index. In the search interfaces, users can then more rapidly review the content by clicking the Quick View link to open the HTML version of the item rather than opening the original document with the original application.

      Consider clearing this check box only if you do not want to use Quick View links or to save resources when building the source.

      Open results with cached version

      Leave this check box cleared (recommended) so that in the search interfaces, the main search result link opens the original document with the original application. Consider selecting this check box only when you do not want users to be able to open the original document but only see the HTML version of the document as a Quick View. When this option is selected, you must also select the Generate a cached HTML version of indexed documents check box.

  7. In the Security section of the Add Source page:

    1. In the Security Provider drop-down list, select the default, modified, or new Active Directory security provider that want for this source (see Configuring an Active Directory Security Provider).

    2. In the Authentication drop-down list, select the user identity that you selected for this source (see Adding a User Identity).

    3. Click Save and Start to save the source configuration and start indexing this source.

  8. Validate that the source building process is executed without errors:

    • In the navigation panel on the left, click Status, and then validate that the indexing proceeds without errors.


    • Open the CES Console to monitor the source building activities (see Using the CES Console).

What's Next?

Set an incremental refresh schedule for your source (see Scheduling a Source Incremental Refresh).

Add the collection containing this new source to the scope of desired search interfaces (see Configuring the Scope of a .NET Search Interface).

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